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Old 02-15-2001, 03:15 PM
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EricSilver EricSilver is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,244
Winter in Northern Virginia has been unusually cold this year, with many sub-freezing days.

In that time, I have noticed that my 1989 260E's shifting had progressively degraded when moving the car from a stand-still. It started with an erratic (and rather embarrassing) up/down/up shifting pattern -- as if the transmission couldn't decide what gear it wanted to be in -- then progressed to the point where the torque converter would "whir" (in first gear??) before a much-delayed up-shift.

I was about to go for a checkup when common-sense kicked in and made me check the transmission fluid level -- and there was barely enough to measure! (What little was there was clear and red, very clean looking.) Three quarts of Castrol Dexron later and the car is back to it's normal, solid, peppy self.

Apparently, the AFT had been leaking over the course of several months and the torque converter was behaving like a boat propeller halfway out of the water -- requiring high revs before it could "bite."

Are there rubber rings, gaskets, seals or whatever in the transmission that do not react well to sub-freezing weather and will cause slow leaks? Also, out of curiosity, and with all due respect to the techs who so generously provide their priceless advice here, had I brought the car into a shop without first checking the fluid level what (costly) diagnosis do you suppose I would have been given? (I find it hard to accept that any mechanic would have let me go with just a $5.00 ATF refill -- or am I just too cynical for my own good?)

Eric Silver
1989 260E (Giving me a real education in the past week!)

[Edited by EricSilver on 02-15-2001 at 03:45 PM]
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